Зображення сторінки

“ Owning

lowest, and, as a matter of course, their ignorance is ex. fort, refinement, and intelligence, because the advocates of treme; but many of their masters have little superiority in slavery are fond of defending it upon the very ground that it either respect. Their religion is purely dramatic; it is the secures to the dominant class these advantages in a remark. only recreation of a not absolutely sensual character which able degree. The existence of slavery gives the inhabitant they are allowed. They are fond of religious phrases, talk of of the south leisure for intellectual pursuits, says one conversations they have had with the Deity, and ascribe their southern statesman; by releasing him from all servile and bad actions to the direct interference of the devil. Those menial occupations, it elevates his tone, adds to his refinewho can preach are very fond of doing so, and make much ment, and exalts his standing in morals, manners, and intel. money by it. Mr. Olmsted speaks of one slave who would lectual endowments, says every southern professor. Mr. walk fifty miles to preach a funeral sermon, and make a Olmsted shows, a priori, the improbability of such an influ. collection of perhaps ten dollars. This worthy was the worst ence, and proves, by his own observations, that the south thief, liar, adulterer, and general scoundrel upon the planta- does not enjoy those prerogatives which slavery is said to give tion. When preaching he used always to make a strong it. It is idle to talk of the intellectual superiority of the point of his own sinfulness, and by bellowing" about it south. It has given statesmen and judges to the Union, but would throw the whole camp into convulsions. The preachers in no other way has it intellectually contributed to its glory. seem almost universally to be the greatest scamps. Mr. But southern hospitality, southern chivalry, southern breed. Olmsted is no prejudiced witness. He speaks of one black ing! Unfortunately these much-lauded virtues disappear minister who would have done honour to any church ; but the upon examination. The southern gentleman of Virginia and rule decidedly is, the greater the saint the greater the sinner. Carolina, -the traditional cavalier of the novelist and the Nor is this surprising. Their religious knowledge is of the newspaper,-is now very rare indeed. Some few old and new most confused and imperfect character. One slave-owner, in families there still are, who form a remarkably wealthy, reply to an inquiry by Mr. Olmsted, said all his slaves were generous, hospitable, refined, and accomplished class. But Baptists. “Niggers allers want to be ducked, you know. they are so few that they cannot even leaven the mass of They ain't content to be just tetchd with water; they must Virginia and Carolina planters. The men of the same wealth be ducked in all over. There was two niggers jined the in the cotton districts are either absentees, coarse, brutal Methodists up here last summer, and they made the minister nigger drivers, or reckless gamblers and debauchees. Mr. put 'em into the branch; they would'nt jine 'less he'd duck Olmsted denies point blank the boasted hospitality of the ’em.” Their religious services are extraordinary scenes of south. The traveller who stays at a planter's house, and he blasphemous excitement. Whilst the preacher rants, the can stop nowhere else, pays as much as he would at a good audience go into hysterics, or express their approval by the hotel for the wretched accommodation aud churlish recepmost singular shouts, and even dances. Their morality, as tion given him. Amongst the farmers of Ohio, or any other we have said, is very low indeed. The women don't marry, free state, he would be cordially welcomed, excellently en. that is to say, do not confine themselves to one man for any tertained, and charged nothing, or the veriest trifle. The lengthened period. But, in taking a male partner, they breeding and chivalrous tone are equally figments. like some kind of ceremony of marriage, thougа the pair niggers spoils people,” said a slave-owner to Mr. Olmsted. usually live together a month or so before, to see how they It gives them a haughty, domineering spirit; inculcates a shall like each other.

laziness and contempt for all useful arts. Accustomed to see And what of the master class ? The picture Mr. Olmsted men, women, and children shamefully beaten, a southern draws of it is hardly more flattering. The rich planters who youth grows up without any of that sentiment of magnanimity possess two or three plantations and two or three hundred and fair play which constitutes chivalry. He is intrepid and slaves, who pass the year with their families in the northern reckless, careless of his own life, but equally careless of the lives states, or in Europe, possess, of course, many of them, intelli- of others, and without scruple about the mode of taking gence and refinement. But the smaller planters, who reside them, if only it be by violence. In mere point of outside upon their estates, are, with few exceptions, ignorant and un- manner a wealthy planter of the seaboard states will often polished. They do not even enjoy the material comforts which have the superiority over a northern man. He has usually the mechanics of the north cannot dispense with. Their houses more dignity of manner, and he is free from that constant are of the roughest and rudest kind, furnished in the scantiest, anxiety to show how clever he is which makes the smart coarsest manner; no curtains, often no windows, no couch, no Yankee so especially disagreeable; but this is all. The pretty carpets, no mats; beds which stink, dirty linen, swarms of fables of generous beloved masters with slaves who would vermin, coarse and ill-cooked food, neither cream, tea, fruit, die for them, and who would refuse their freedom if offered sugar, nor decent bread, one set of washing utensils common them,-masters who watch carefully over the morals of their to the whole household, neither books nor music, scarcely slaves, and exercise a paternal rule, are utterly discredited by newspapers. They have no amusements, no schools, no Mr. Olmsted. The slaves are not, except in a few cases where churches. Their children grow up in the midst of this dirt a man or woman is specially favoured and petted, content. and discomfort, and what little hope might yet be left for They would gladly be free. them is destroyed by the contamination of the sweltering The picture is unsatisfactory enough thus far. It becomes mass of negro immorality. It is hardly possible for a lad to even worse as we proceed. The population of the slave states attain the age of fourteen without being initiated into some is not made up of masters and slaves ; the bulk of it consists of the most perilous vices. In an atmosphere of lying, of a class almost as wretched and as dangerous as the blacks thieving, adultery, and cruelty, the boy must have parents of a -the “poor whites.” It is upon them that slavery acts with very high order to grow up uninjured. Some such there are the most demoralizing power. Taught to regard labour as the undoubtedly. There are excellent exceptions, but this repul- peculiar task of the black man, a degradation for the white, sive picture photographs the mass of the small planters and too poor to buy a slave for cash, too little trusted to obtain many of the larger ones, that is to say, men of whom the one on credit, they pretend to cultivate small patches of poorest may be worth twenty thousand dollars and the richest ground, but really thieve and sponge upon their neighbours. a million.

The civilization of the towns is little higher. Whilst honest industry and energy would give them a comWhere the most pretensions are made, it is merely a barbaric petence in a short time, they sit with their hands in their outside.

In hotels boasting silver-plated forks and cande-pockets, watching for the blessed time when, the slave trade labra, there is an entire absence of the commonest requisites of being suspended, a nigger may be bought for a song. Or if cleanliness and decency. Mr. Olmsted describes most of the they live in those districts in which white men are in the habit towns as forlorn, poverty-stricken collections of shops, grog- of working for hire, they are so spoiled by the constant congeries, and lawyer's offices. Indeed, he says that there are tact with slaves, they adopt so entirely their careless, idle only six towns with a really town-like character in all the habits, that their work is worth little, and all the while their slave states. These are New Orleans, Mobile, Louisville, St. children are growing up in a state of heathendom, ignorance, Louis, Charleston, and Richmond; and two of these towns and immorality little raised above that of the slaves. The are really the capitals of adjoining free districts.

proportion of population (white) that could not read was, at Jr. Olmsted dwells the more upon this absence of com- the census of 1850, three times larger in the south than in the


JAN. 1861.]

north ; and those who can read in the south have not the op- slave labour costs, as Mr. Olmsted assures us, twice as much
portunity of doing so. The engrossment of land and negroes as free.
by the wealthy planters tends every year to increase this When Mr. Olmsted wrote, the dissolution of the Union ap-
wretched class. What is to be its future under a continuance peared rather a possibility of some ten or twenty years hence,
of existing circumstances it is difficult to imagine. Mr. Olm- than an immediate pressing danger. He has, however,
sted cannot cast its horoscope, nor can we. Some southern devoted the closing pages of his book to a discussion of the
philospher, wild at the want of labour, or annoyed at the ani. relative strength of the two great divisions,-free and slave,-
mosity which these poor whites in those districts where they and the consequent probabilities of success in any contest
do work for hire show to their negro competitors, has pro- between them. At the present moment, although secession
posed their reduction into slavery, and should this step ever seems almost inevitable, such a discussion possesses little
be feasible, there will be no lack of divines and jurists to interest. The north has the force,--as it has the law,-on its
prove its legitimacy.

side; but it will offer no opposition to the mad resolutions of Such are the evils. Is there any remedy? Immediate South Carolina and her confederates. On one side are some abolition is of course impossible. At the least, emancipation eighteen millions of freemen; on the other, if the whole must be the work of more than one generation, and for that south unites, not more than thirteen millions, of whom four very reason the sooner it is begun the better. Had Jeffer- millions are slaves. The north is infinitely richer than the son's wise suggestions been adopted, Virginia would long south, much of whose boasted wealth consists in slaves. since have been a free state, many times richer, and more There can be as little question about the right. The consti. populous than she now is. The first step is the restriction tution of the United States is not a mere confederation of of slavery within its existing limits. At present, the partisans states, to be dissolved by each one at its pleasure ; it is a form of slavery are madly bent on extending their bounds, and thus of government adopted by the whole people, and only change. intensifying the evil under which they labour. The want of able by the resolutions of a majority. the south is really a larger supply of labour; the soil of the South Carolina has always maintained the former doctrine, old states, although termed “exhausted,” only requires a and, once before, nearly bolted out of the Union. It is likely larger application of labour to make it most productive. enongh that she will really do it now, and be followed by But at the present price of negroes that application would at least Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama. The

prove unprofitable, and the slaves are bought up to exhaust southerners are an excitable, impetuous, reckless race ; many cotton soils by reckless production. Let it be clearly under of the rich are temporarily mad about slavery; the poor have

stood that slavery is to go no further, and planters, instead of nothing to lose; and a new confederation may be formed. killing the goose with the golden eggs, as one of them has The north will let them go, for they must soon return. At himself termed it, would cultivate the rich lands with a care present, it is a hard task enough to keep the slaves in subjecwhich would preserve their fertility unimpaired. But this tion, or to keep them at all. Then, there would be no means restriction would be far from emancipation, and although a of retaining them; the old government would certainly not necessary condition, is no commencement of it; nor does Mr. give its rebellious offshoot the benefit of a fugitive slave law. Olmsted specify with any distinctness his plans for gradual Confined in territory, unable to procare more slaves, deprived abolition. “ The subjection of the negroes of the south to the of the capital it formerly disposed of, the south would soon mastership of the whites, I still consider justifiable and find it necessary to return, like the prodigal son. Whether, hownecessary," and most people will agree with him. We should ever, that return be made or not, secession is fatal to slavery. have been glad to have had the suggestions of such a man as In the first place, it marks out its limits, beyond all future to the mode in which that subjection is to be gradually cavil; in the second, it will render its continuance unbeardetermined. Difficult as the task is, however, the south able to the masters themselves. The hot-headed fire-eaters would soon devise a solution if it were once to recognise of the south are preparing a rod for their own backs. They the desirability of emancipation. The great thing is to con- are hastening the emancipation, by the very treason which vince it that emancipation is for its own interest; and in they have committed to prevent it. spite of all the seeming pro-slavery vehemence, the times

BURTON S. BLYTH. would appear to be favourable to the growth of that conviction. The one point, and it is certainly an important one, upon

AN ARTIST AMONG THE TURKS.* which we cannot entirely adopt Mr. Olmsted's conclusions, is Ar the present critical period in the history of the Ottoman that of cotton supply. Fully recognising the justice of his empire, when an exhausted treasury, pawned revenues, a coatention that intelligent and free white labour is far corrupt and feeble government, and a general dissoluteness superior to unintelligent and driven black, we must yet of manners, point ominously to a speedy transition of the doubt whether a large production of cotton would as yet be Turkish territories into the hands of new masters, any honest possible without slavery. It may be that the climate of the attempt to depict the life and condition of Constantinople has Mississippi valleys would not, as Mr. Olmsted contends, claims on attention. Mr. Thornbury is not a politician, still prove too unwholesome for white labourers, but we can less is he a statician. We are not aware that he is amscarcely think that white men, or even free blacks, could bitious to be regarded as a persevering student of European be found to undergo the severe labour of cotton tillage, history. Readers, therefore, may not go to his book for inforexcept for a most extravagant remuneration. The experi- mation on the commerce, fiscal arrangements, and diplomatic ments of the free German plantations in Texas are scarcely relations of “the sick man.” Mr. Thornbury is an artist, applicable to Mississippi. The increased price procurable with a quick eye for character, and the picturesque points of for cotton picked by free labour would scarcely compensate city or field, and whatever he chances to observe,—the huck. for the advantage of production on a large scale, like that stering of the market or the uproar of the prison, the babble at present carried on in the Mississippi districts, and which of the bazaars or the religious rites of the mosque,-he comwould be scarcely possible with free labour. The question, municates truthfully and with much spirit, evincing, over and however, is not one of instant importance. No one pro- above the buoyant good-humour of a well-educated and wellposes to abolish slavery immediately, but to mitigate its bred Englishman, a certain restlessness of fancy and nervous burden and prepare for its early termination. During the irritability which give an idiosyncratic colouring, by no interval much may be done to open up and render healthy means unpleasant as a change, to all his works. the cotton bottoms ; fresh modes of culture may be adopted, The most distinctive portions of the present volumes are and machinery may be invented by which the intelligent those which relate to the art and architecture of Constantidirection of one white, or one oducated negro, may accom- nople. They include most interesting descriptions both of plish as much as the brute force of ten slaves now effects. Of the sacred edifices and the domestic buildings of the Turks. the generally advantageous influence of a change which should The greater number of the latter are slightly constructed of develop the intelligence of the slaves by education, more thin scantlings of oak, nailed together, boarded outside with freedom of action, greater responsibility, and the prospect of deal, and painted red. Built to last sixty years, they are liberty, it is impossible to entertain a doubt; and we can well

Turkish Life and Character. By WALTER TUOENBURY, Author of life in believe that in every kind of cultivation except that of cotton, Spain. Smith, Elder, and Co.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

usually burnt down in ten. Seldom does a fortnight elapse worthies to whom we are introduced as our exemplars,” without a terrific conflagration. When two inhabitants of amongst them are the King of Portugal and Lord ShaftesConstantinople have exchanged morning salutations, their bury,-only a very small proportion belong to the class to three first questions are,—“What is the exchange ?” “Whois which Lord Stanley referred. That a book, however, origithe Prime Minister ?” and “Where was the fire last night?” nated in a suggestion which it fails to carry out, is not neces. The exchange is always going up, the minister is always sarily a ground of objection. On the contrary, if Lord Stanley going out, and the fires are always going on. These wood directs us to search for the philosophers' stone in the biogra. houses, however, as well as their old style of furniture, are phies of rich and eminent men, we may rejoice when we dis. beginning to disappear before the innovations of that fashion cover that our search has diverged to the discovery of which makes the Turks delight in the bijouterie and clocks examples of health-giving virtues in the lives of men and of Paris and the printed cottons of Manchester, and which women rich only in hope, and eminent only in charity. causes them “ even to neglect their own incomparable car- William and Robert Chambers, the eminent authors and pets for those of England and France." The Stamboul of the publishers, are almost the only two of our twenty-nine middle ages was a glorious city, bright with colour ; but the exemplars” who can be described as men who have risen few remaining traces of its ancient splendour daily grow to wealth and eminence by the exercise of their own powers fainter, and ere many years elapse it will be as dull as London. of mind and body,”—and even they don't quite fulfil Lord Dress amongst the Turks is in the same transition state as Stanley's condition of having “risen from the humbler architecture, the Turkish men of the world daily adopting classes.” Born at Peebles, about the commencement of the more and more the inventions of European tailors, whilst the present century, of parents whose circumstances enabled them ladies and clergy, with a conservatism inseparable from them to educate their children in a refined, though simple, mode of in all quarters of the world, still cling obstinately to their life, they had just begun to indulge in those literary pursuits ancient costume. The compromises between old barbarism to which their temperament prompted them, when a sudden and new civilization are often sufficiently amusing. “You reverse of fortune rendered it necessary that they should at will see a man with an enormous turban, a long beard and once enter upon the work-day business of life. Literature, pipe, and a furred pelisse, finished off with white stockings which had been their pleasure, they now resolved to make and costermonger's boots." And as in dress, so in nearly all their means of livelihood. Declining, howerer, to imitate other matters. It is only in the relations between the sexes Chatterton, and never thinking of running up to London to that tradition and usage seem to have fully maintained their starve on the compilation of prefaces and political pamphlets, ground.

they took small shops, and dealt in books,-the wares of The Turkish prisons and madhouses visited by Mr. Thorn. which they were fondest, and with which they were best bury exhibit the same dreary features of woe and degradation, acquainted. Successful in the business they had thus chosen, and the same brutal indifference to human suffering, that they were soon enabled to take a step in advancc, and from characterized our own Bridewell and Bedlam in the last booksellers grew to be publishers. Among the works which century. At their funeral observances, the Turks, usually they gave to the world in the latter capacity were some from 80 grave and slow, rush along as if drunk with joy, bearing their own pens, which gained distinguished and widely their ghastly burden to a tomb in which he is laid without a extended notice. But the two brothers were not only keencoffin. The absence of any coffin is perhaps one cause why sighted tradesmen and accomplished writers. They were the Turkish grave has a tendency to cave in, thereby afford. men of original minds ; and, while still young men, being at ing the wild-dog no trifling aid in his labour of exhuming the time little more then thirty, took a step which must dead bodies. Another and more potent cause, however, of ever retain for them a prominent place in the literary history this tendency of Turkish graves consists in the Mussulman of their country. By the establishment of their celebrated custom of leaving a passage open between the corpse and the Jonrnal they raised, within a very short time, the standard outer air. This hole into the chamber of the buried is said of literary taste amongst the great mass of general readers to be left in case the dead should wish to renew his intercourse throughout Great Britain, and struck a key-note which is with his old friends ; but the usage is more probably a relic responded to in all the well-conducted periodical literature of of the old classic fashion of leaving a channel of communica- the present day. Within two years from the date of its tion from the living world to the upper floor of their establishment, their Journal reached a weekly sale of 50,000 double-roofed tombs, through which libations of honey, milk, copies. Two of their subsequent publications, the Informaand wine could be sent down as offerings to the manes of the tion for the People and the Miscellany of Useful and Enterdeparted. Be that as it may, the pernicious effects of these taining Literature, obtained a still more remarkable degree loopholes for the escape of a pestilential miasma can be of success, the weekly sale of the former having at one time imagined. It was to counteract their noisome exhalations been 130,000 copies, and that of the latter 150,000 copies. that the cypress was first planted in Mahometan burial. The career of the two brothers as publishers is, however, so grounds, just as aromatic herbs were originally sprinkled well known that we need not dwell upon it; nor need we do before the prisoners in our criminal courts in the hope that more than allude to the works on social subjects of William the odour would neutralize the baneful effluvium coming from Chambers, and the scientific writings of Robert Chambers. the occupants of the dock.

But there is one circumstance connected with their business Mr. Thornbury has the good sense not to affect to be what career which is not generally known, and which should not be he is not. He is neither savan nor sciolist,-neither political forgotten when we include them

among our exemplars.” economist nor moral philosopher. As an artist he tells the It is that, during all the years they have been in bnsiness, story of his travels, and those who sympathize with an artist's they have never once put their names as acceptors to a bill of views of life will read him with pleasure.


In singular contrast with the story of the brothers ChamA GALLERY OF WORTHIES.*

bers, is that of Christopher Thomson, one of the little band For the present work we are indebted, according to its preface, of poets and artists who delight to be known as “Sherwood written by Lord Brougham, to a suggestion made by Lord Foresters.” The son of a sailor, who had given up seaStanley," at a gathering of mechanics institutions, held at faring life and had settled down as the landlord of a Accrington, in November last,” to the effect that “a biogra- public-house at Hull, Thomson was left, as & child, phical work of great interest might be written, describing the to pick up such habits and acquirements as chance or rise and progress to wealth and eminence of men who, by the taste might direct, and it is therefore not matter for surprise exercise of their own powers of mind and body, have risen that when he had to betake himself to some money-making from the humbler classes.” That such a suggestion should avocation he attempted half-a-dozen, one after the other, have led to such a work is a remarkable instance of the with little success. Turned out of a linendraper's shop on tortuous course of human affairs, for of the twenty-nine account of his uncouthness, he first took to brick-making,

then abandoned the making of bricks for the making of * Our Exemplarz, Poor and Rich ; or, Biographical Sketches of Men and Women pottery, and then became an apprentice in a shipbuilder's wko hare by an extraordinary use of their Opportunities benefited their Fellor. Creatures. London: 1861.

yard, where he appears to huve imbibed a taste for Method.

one of “

ism and the stage, strangely dividing his time between tions, which subsequent experience has proved to be nonfervent religious observances and the acting of plays under existing, he threw aside his invention in disgust, and difficulties. Disgusted with ship-building, he was no sooner turned the energies of his active mind in another direction. out of his time than he threw himself on board a whaling Happily for his country, the subject which caught his attenvessel, and made a voyage to the Greenland seas as car- tion was the post office : and now began one of those great penter's mate. Still dissatisfied, he returned, determined battles which are always being fought, more or less openly, never to go to sea again, and his next step was to marry the between the man of original views and the great army of daughter of a veneer sawyer, and adopt the business of his routine. As was the case with Blucher, routine is nearly father-in-law. That business was soon afterwards ruined by always vanquished in the end; but, as was also the case the introduction of machinery, and before long, after some with Blucher, routine is always ready to renew the contest. In severe struggles, Thomson found himself, or at least thought 1837, Rowland Hill published his plan of a penny postage, and himself, compelled, for the sake of daily bread, to join a the splendid project overran the three kingdoms like wildfire. company of strolling players. Daily bread and nightly lodging, It was received with acclamations by every one, except persons however, were doled out to poor Christopher and his in power, or connected in any way with office. The ministry family with such sadly niggard hand during these strolling shook their heads at it; the opposition did not like it; but the days, that, after a dreary period of suffering, he threw aside unanimous voice of the people demanded its adoption. Their the buskin for ever, and settled down at Edmistowe, in Sher- voice was obeyed; and on comparing the year 1839, the year wood Forest. We now begin to find him worthy of being immediately preceding the adoption of penny postage, with

our exemplars,” and to perceive that his previous the year 1859, we find that between those two dates the num. erratic, if not vagabond, course of life was a protracted ber of post offices in the United Kingdom increased from school-time, during which he was being gradually prepared 4,028 to 11,412;

that the number of letters passing annually to take a high degree Literis Humanioribus. Such men through these offices increased from 76,000,000 to 5 15,000,000; as Christopher Thomson are the backwoodsmen of life; they that the gross annual revenue increased from £2,370,763 to have rough work to do, and the training which fits them to £3,299,825; that the number of money orders issued per do it must, of necessity, be rough also. Thomson had no annum increased from 188,921 to 6,969,108; and that the sooner become settled at Edmistowe, than he found oppor- amount of money remitted per annum by money orders tunities of turning to most useful account the experience he increased from £313,124 to £13,250,930! had gained during his checquered career. A great movement

Of the ten women and nineteen men, the story of whose was just then taking place throughout the whole body of the lives is told in the volume before us, all but John Bunyan and working population of England. A few true principles had John Smeaton are of our own day. Amongst them are reprebeen made the basis of many false theories. Trade unions, sentatives of every rank, from the King of Portugal, who, in “ friendly societies," and "fellowship” in all sorts of forms 1859, when the yellow fever broke out in his capital, occupied and under all sorts of titles, had become the distinguishing himself so assiduously in personal attention to the sick, visiting features of artizan life, and Christopher Thomson became one the hospitals night and day, to John Plummer, the deaf andlame of the most zealous promoters of these institutions. But he journeyman shoemaker of Kettering, whose pamphlet against was enlightened as well as zealous, and in a very short time strikes was eulogized so highly by Lord Brougham in his he found himself engaged in a desperate battle with narrow speech at the Social Science meeting at Liverpool in 1858. views and old prejudices. He found “benefit” societies The book is edited by Mr. Commissioner Hill, and is much based on principles such as would sooner or later render the best collection extant of biograpbies of men and women bankrupt the richest insurance office in the world, and he “who, by an extraordinary use of their opportunities, bave said so; be found trade unions promulgating political views benefited their fellow-creatures.” JOHN STEBBING. inconsistent with the preservation of society, and he exposed

CHINESE WARFARE. them. For a while, of course, he became the object of a The Chinese themselves are essentially an unwarlike race, bitter hatred and persecution ; but he had seen too much, and their unquestionable ingenuity, and their marvellous imi. and suffered too much, to be easily frightened, and after a tative powers, have been chiefly exercised in the peaceful purtime he found his path becoming clearer. Men celebrated suits of husbandry and architecture, in textile and fictile manuthroughout the civilized world for their talents, heard of his factures, and in the sciences of astronomy and navigation. exertions, and gave him an encouraging smile

. He found Comparatively speaking, undisturbed during the rise and fall himself famous, when he had only considered himself of Assyria, Greece, and Rome, subsequently deserted during laborious. But his fame was well earned; and in the poli- the vast migrations westward from Central Asia, and thus, tical history of the working classes of England the name of as it were, isolated from the rest of the civilized world, the Christopher Thomson must ever have a place. We have Chinese spread out into a vast and populous kingdom, but not attempted to follow him through all the phases of his never were destined to become a conquering race,--and none chequered career ; he is not presented to us as an “exemplar” but conquerors have ever developed, or advanced, the art of in every portion of his life, but only in that portion of it in which, under great difficulties, he made even the disadvan- Even the Tartarian masters of China overran it so readily, tageous circumstances of his life tend to the benefit of his and held its pacifically-disposed people in such easy subjection fellow-men. But we must not forget to mention the haven for centuries, that their decided military preparations reof art in which he has at length found comparative rest. Yes; ceived no great impulse, and, indeed, no decided opportunity he is now an artist! He had been learning something new in for improvement. With no more highly-cultivated external every preceding year of bis life, and at fifty-four he found enemies to combat, with no distant territories which they that he was not too old to learn the art of landscape painting. desired to win, and no serious struggles against their assumed An earnest mind can acquire knowledge quickly; an observant authority, the Tartars, though sufficiently bold, and wellone can readily make use of knowledge. Being the work of inclined to the soldier-life, could never develop a high system a man both earnest and observant, Mr. Thomson's pictures of military organization. have long since ceased to be merely creditable,--they have It is true that internal rebellion has from time to time become saleabie.

threatened the Tartar dynasty; but the helpless rebels, though A place amongst our exemplars" is given to Sir Roland formidable in numbers, have been less apt in military matters Hill, who has multiplied the social intercourse of the world than their Tartarian masters, and the contests between to an almost immeasurable extent, and extended to the them have, therefore, taught no useful lesson to the latter. poorest what was formerly the exclusive privilege of the rich. As to their collisions with European powers, these have been In his earlier years he applied himself with great ardour to as yet so few, so limited in extent, and so far between, that mechanical science, and invented, besides other ingenious though they have had the effect of an imperfect education in things, a new kind of printing machine, in which the types the art of war, much more of the same instruction will be were set around a cylinder, which could produce impressions required to enable the Chinese Tartars to cast aside those with immense velocity. Dulness and prejudice having dis. traces of barbarian imperfections which they now exhibit in covered in his type-armed cylinder a thousand fatal imperfec. I nearly all that relates to their fighting establishments.


By the officers who accompanied the celebrated embassy of having wooden handles and iron hilts. Some are very plain, Lord Macartney to Pekin in 1793, it was estimated, on the and as if made out of pieces of iron hoop ; whilst others are authority of a native officer, that the army of the Emperor, more highly finished, and of good manufacture. Nearly all including Tartars and Chinese, then consisted of 1,800,000 are armed with spears, ranging from seven to nine feet in men, of whom one million were infantry, the rest cavalry. length, made of bamboo or of wood, the handle part only Judging from what was observed by the embassy, the num. painted green, and carrying a simple spearhead of iron, and ber assigned to the infantry was thought not unlikely to be ornamented below that with a red or green tuft, composed true, but very few cavalry were seen. On the occasion of variously of string, or cloth, or silken cord. Their bows, the Emperor's anniversary, at a grand display in presence however, are their characteristic national hereditary weapon, of the embassy, it was calculated by Captain Parish that not and on these by far the greatest ingenuity and constructire more than 80,000 troops were present. On another occasion talent are expended. The best of them are highly finished, and of a ceremonial kind, only 1,200 were on the field, and the are very beantiful. They are about four feet long, straight in usual number which was trained up to receive and salute the the middle, and curved towards the string at each end. They passing travellers at each garrison town did not exceed 300. are built up of a central front, usually of wood, into which two Their numbers, it may be fairly concluded, were inconsistent long tapering slices of buffalo horn, nicely shaped and polished, with the exaggerated statements as to their total force. In are securely fastened with cord or silk, for the elastic ends of the operations of the Portuguese at Mac20,--in our own pro- the bow. The string is usually of tendon or gut, and merely ceedings against the Bogue Forts, and at Canton, Chusan, slips into a notch, cut in the bone, at each end of the bow. Shanghai, and Nankin, in our first repulse before the Taku The arrows are of wood, two to three feet in length, nicely Forts, in their recent capture, and in our final advance to trimmed, feathered widely in three rows, and tipped with an Pekin the other day,--the numbers of the Chinese army iron point, which is either like a nail fitted into the wood, brought up against us, and actually visible in the field, have or is fitted over the wood. The bows are very strong ; and in been ridiculously small as compared with their boasted drawing them, the thumb is often protected by a piece of strength. The repeated defeats of the regular army by the agate which receives the string. As a rule, the Tartar horseTaiping rebels has doubtless crippled its force, but probably man also carries a matchlock, and thus, besides his bow, is not to so great an extent as that to which truth has curtailed encumbered with another very inefficient weapon. This rude the extravagant misrepresentations of the deceitful govern- form of gun is a small one and of native mamfacture. Though ment. The Chinese army appears indeed to be like their Sir George Staunton, in his account of the Macartney Em. lanthors, a slip of paper, and the belief long entertained is bassy, mentions iron helmets, and a sort of defensive now pretty generally looked upon as correct, that the Chinese armour, our informant noticed neither; but the regular dress army is a myth. The largest number of soldiers seen at any consisted of loose trowsers and jacket of cotton cloth, a black one time in the recent advance from the mouth of the Peiho felted Tartar cap, and clumsy boots made of cloth, or in the to Pekin, has been from 18,000 to 20,000,—this being the case of the officers, of silk, with thick paper soles. A cirumost that could be mustered and interposed between the lar belt serves to suspend the ponch for flint and steel and outer barbarians, and to them, at least, the maiden capital of tobacco, and also the little wooden tubular boxes, like bodkin the flowery land. The most bare-faced impositions have cases, or like the snake-in-the-box toy of our early days, in been offered to European credulity and good faith; and the which their separate charges of gunpowder are carried. hypothesis is not altogether an untenable one, that the These little tubes, from twelve to twenty in number, each continued isolation of the Chinese empire from contact with covered with a tight-fitting rounded cap or lid, are sometimes, other civilization, springing at first from jealousy, at length in the case of the smarter soldiers, supported in a small became necessary to avoid the exposure of the truth, and wooden frame, full of corresponding holes, which is itself that in fact, a regular policy of exclusion has been adopted fixed to the body belt. The indispensable case, containing a by the lying mandarins, to avoid the bursting of their great knife and two chop sticks, is carried by every soldier; and bubble of misrepresentation.

what our friend spoke of as the “swells" of their corps, If the numbers of the Chinese army have been so grossly have a small luxury, in the shape of a little glass scent-bottle, misapprehended, but little that is precise is known of its like a miniature gourd, coloured red or yellow, and containing recruitment, its organization, and its discipline. Upon these im- tiny black pills, of a musky odour. In the most recherché of perfectly understood subjects it is not our intention to enlarge, these, a little silver spoon is found, with which the aforesaid but we will endeavour, at the present juncture, through the balls are, no doubt, gracefully inserted up the owner's pose! valued assistance of notes furnished to us by an eye-witness of Such is a Tartar Light Hussar, complete. We forget : a few the capture of the Taku Forts and of some of the subsequent of them carry a sort of two-fold iron hook, shaped like an proceedings of the allied army, to furnish the reader with open letter “S,” and attached to the end of a pole, six or an original account (not obtained from books) of the various seren feet long: the terminal part is blunt, and is intended implements of war, offensive and defensive, employed by our to serve as a book, by which to pull an enemy from his horse, recent enemies in their forts and in the field, during a by catching him round the neck,--hence, there is some sense campaign of which they themselves had full notice, and for in the saying of “That's catching a Tartar:" the part which, therefore, they had ample time to make all such nearest the handle is thicker, describes a larger curve, and preparations and provisions as their military science and is sharpened on its concave edge, so that if slipped over the means would enable them to make.

neck, it will remove an enemy's head, or, at any rate, gash We shall begin with the famous Tartar cavalry. The sol. his throat. diers comprising this force are tall and powerful men, of a The infantry are also mainly Tartars in the north ; but sallow, bilious complexion, having invariably black hair, some doubtless these, and especially in the south, are mixed with wearing a moustacheand some not, but none wearing the beard, Chinese. Their ordinary dress is well known; it is often very which, it seems, they generally pull out. They are mounted showy ; but in action, at least, it was found that most of them on the little strong bay Tartar horses, which are scarcely bigger wore a very coarse yellow cotton cloth or canvas material, dyed than ponies, never exceeding twelve hands high, and are on bamboo with pigments of other colours. Their arms conof all colours, and frequently spotted, though brown, as usual, sist in some cases of a short, indifferent sword, and a shield, is the prevailing bue. These are active, enduring, and valu. in some cases of a spear besides, in others of a matchlock,able horses. The body of the saddle is of wood only, with no and, as has been observed in the south, eren of muskets and iron fastenings, but merely holes cut for the reception of the bayonets. Different bodies, corresponding to our regiments, stirrup leather and crupper, which is also of leather or bull's are differently armed ; but in the field they fought without bide. This wooden foundation is well padded and covered distinction. We must not omit to mention the famous Tiger with cloth, and forms a light and most comfortable saddle. | infantry, whose tawny yellow dresses, made up into one article The reins and head gear are likewise of leather or hide. The of costume, are put on, so that the legs and arms are received stirrups are of iron, and are so wide at the base as to present into sleeves or leggings corresponding with the animal's

most equal-sided, triangular opening for the foot. These limbs, and a sort of hood or cowl conies over the neck and are all armed with light and slightly curved swords, I bead. In this comical garb, in which the occupants look like

« НазадПродовжити »